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Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
July, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 07
The Role of the Q Angle in Anterior Knee Pain
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Postural distortions can lead to numerous soft-tissue disorders. Clients with these postural challenges often look to the massage therapist to help with the pain or biomechanical challenges that result.In the lower extremity, a large quadriceps angle, more commonly called the Q angle, is a postural distortion involving patellofemoral biomechanics. An exaggerated Q angle can lead to knee pain and knee pathologies, as well as compensations in other regions of the body.1
The degree of the Q angle is determined by measuring two lines superimposed on the lower extremity. One line begins at the tibial tuberosity and continues in a superior direction through the midpoint of the patella. A second line connects the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) with the midpoint of the patella. The angle between these two lines is the Q angle (Figure 1).
There is a disagreement in the research literature about what constitutes an exaggerated Q angle. Some sources say a Q angle as small as 10 degrees can be a problem, while others say it is not an issue until the angle is greater than 20 degrees.2 A challenge with evaluating the Q angle's role is it's not easy to accurately measure the angle. However, repeated investigations have shown people with a larger Q angle have a greater likelihood of developing numerous knee complaints.
To understand how the Q angle contributes to knee pathologies, it's helpful to look at the anatomical relationships in the region. The patella is embedded in the quadriceps tendon. There is a ridge on the underside of the patella that must fit in the trochlear groove between the two condyles of the femur (Figure 2). The patella moves superiorly and inferiorly in this groove during knee flexion and extension.
The patella's ability to track straight in the trochlear groove is determined by the quadriceps' angle of pull. When the Q angle is greater, the quadriceps pull the patella in a more lateral direction. The unequal pull on the patella causes increased tensile stress on soft tissues around the knee. Too much lateral pull on the patella also can drag it against the lateral femoral condyle and eventually cause degeneration of the cartilage on the underside of the patella - a condition known as chondromalacia patellae. Problems associated with the patella and its correct movement during flexion and extension are referred to as patellar tracking disorders. In addition to patellar tracking disorders, a larger Q angle also can be a major factor in patellar subluxation or dislocation, as well as anterior cruciate ligament sprains.
There is an increased incidence of these knee disorders in women and individuals with genu valgum. The Q angle is greater in women due to the wider pelvis, which places the ASIS farther away from the patellar midline, thereby increasing the Q angle. The Q angle also is greater in people who have the genu valgum postural distortion, more commonly known as knock-knees.
Because certain aspects of bony structure, such as a wide pelvis, determine the Q angle, it's difficult to alter the angle with soft-tissue work alone. However, treatments such as massage are helpful for addressing some of the factors that aggravate Q angle problems. For example, an imbalance in tightness between the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscles can contribute to patellar tracking disorders. If the vastus lateralis is too tight, it can pull the patella farther in a lateral direction. This situation often occurs in people with a larger Q angle. Comprehensive massage treatment of the vastus lateralis can reduce the distance it pulls the patella in a lateral direction.
There are numerous causes of anterior knee pain. Several of these can be related to an excessive Q angle. It's not necessary to pull out the protractor and determine the exact Q angle. However, a visual estimation of the Q angle can give important clues about the role this postural distortion plays in a variety of pain complaints. In those cases, massage treatment of the quadriceps muscle group and the retinacular fibers around the patella greatly helps reduce the detrimental results of a large Q angle.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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